Wednesday, April 25, 2012
Recap: No. 4 BC High 6, No. 6 Xaverian 5
By Tom Layman
BOSTON — Justin Silvestro admittedly hasn’t been swinging the bat the way he would like in the early part of this season for BC High.
This just might snap him out of his funk.
The senior first basemen collected four hits and came through with a walkoff single in the bottom of the ninth inning to soar the Eagles (8-1) over Xaverian with a 6-5 victory in a big Catholic Conference tilt.
Silvestro flew out to center in his first at-bat to end the first, but in his final four at-bats he went: single, double, single, single, with two RBI.
“I’ve been pulling out on the ball and trying to over swing a little bit,” said Silvestro. “This is a game that can really test staying down on the ball and not dipping your back shoulder and trying to hit everything out of the park. It’s about hitting line drives and I think this will help me.”
Silvestro showed off his new swing thought to perfection in his final at-bat with the sun slowly fading and Game 7 inching ever closer. With Chuck Connors on second with one out in the ninth, Silvestro lined a 1-1 pitch into right-center on a rope to easily score his teammate for the victory.
“He started me off with a fastball high and I over swung because I was trying to end the game,” said Silvestro. “He came back with a curveball (on the next pitch) and after that I knew a fastball was coming. I just tried to get a base hit and hit it hard.”
The Eagles have a 3-4-5 combination as dangerous as anyone in the area — with Bobby Melly, Connors and Silvestro — and Norm Walsh is happy to see that trio starting to get into a nice flow offensively.
“Silvestro is starting to come around, because he was struggling at the beginning of the year,” said Walsh. “It was really good to see. He’s been working hard the last week or so to make some changes in his swing, and it’s starting to pay off.
Connors Gets Redemption: The Eagles were a couple of inches from coming into this game with an undefeated mark, but Connors was robbed on a hard-hit ball up the middle by Lincoln-Sudbury’s Dylan DeFlorio last time out.
Connors, the Eagles' four-hole hitter came through this time with an RBI single in the seventh inning to make sure this game would go to extras. Connors was 4-for-5 with three singles and a double. He scored three runs, including the game-winner.
“He’s been really swinging the bat,” said Walsh. “His average doesn’t reflect it, but he’s been hitting the ball hard consistently.”
Play For The One-Run Game: Gerry Lambert has been in so many tightly contested Catholic Conference games that he knew every run could be crucial.
In the bottom of the third with a 3-1 lead the Hawks (5-4) took a chance with a man on third.
Mike LaVita was caught in no-mans land on an attempted suicide squeeze after Tyler Campo couldn’t get wood on the ball, and LaVita was tagged out in a pickle to erase the threat.
“I’m a broken record and it’s true, these (Catholic Conference) games are nip-and-tuck games,” said Lambert. “That’s what they are. They always are. Every single run is going to matter, whether it’s a close play at first or a close pitch, or a play we almost execute. It comes down to a lot of those close plays.